(USNewsBreak.com) – Much of the world’s attention has remained centered on the ongoing conflict in Israel, but the war between Russia and Ukraine is still very much alive. The question of Ukraine joining NATO and the European Union also remains on the table. In fact, just four days after Russia invaded, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked the EU to add his country to the union immediately. Now, nearly two years on, The European Commission is recommending that Ukraine be allowed to begin negotiations to join once certain conditions are met.
What Joining the EU Would Do
Ukraine gained its independence in August 1991, just months before the fall of the Soviet Union. It had been under Moscow’s control for nearly 70 years prior. Since then, it has remained independent and operates as a democracy, though there are many concerns about the scope of corruption within the country’s government, a byproduct of belonging to the USSR.
Joining the EU would give Ukraine’s residents a much-needed morale boost and align the country more with the West. Because the West is providing billions in aid to the nation to fight off its aggressor, it makes sense that Zelenskyy — and Ukraine’s citizens — want a stronger future.
Ukraine Must Satisfy Conditions to Begin Negotiations
To begin negotiations, Ukraine must first address a few issues. For example, it needs to rein in corruption and adopt a lobbying law aligning with EU standards. Finally, it must strengthen protections for its national minorities. However, should Kyiv comply with these conditions, the EU’s top officials are ready to begin membership talks.
This recommendation is still in the beginning stages, though. It can only formally proceed once EU leaders vote on it next month — and their decision must be unanimous. Most of the bloc’s 27 members are on board, but pundits project Hungary as a potential holdout.
Needless to say, the negotiations could take years, which is typical. President Zelenskyy has praised the move as a “historic step,” per Reuters.
Other Countries in Line for Membership, Too
The EU is making similar recommendations for other countries, notably Moldova and Georgia. Moldova is struggling with Moscow’s invasion, and many observers perceive Georgia as more aligned with Russia in the war. Yet, if Tbilisi aligns with the EU’s sanctions and takes a stand against Russia’s actions, it could lead to membership.
Additionally, Bosnia and Herzegovina is up for negotiations despite the EU Commission believing the admission might be a bit tougher due to the members remaining split on Sarajevo due to democratic backsliding.
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